Category Archives: Relaxation

LAVENDER…..pure and simple!!

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This weekend I attended an Open Day at a local Lavender Farm and to say I enjoyed my time there is an understatement!

 

Lavender has long been a favourite of mine, going back to the start of my Yoga journey in 1995 when I decided to use Aromatherapy along with Yoga to heal myself from my awful panic attacks. Lavender is known as a calming and relaxing herb and has frequently been used for insomnia, anxiety, depression, and natural stress relief.

 

Most of us are aware that Lavender has so many healing properties, it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used as a natural mosquito repellent and of course not forgetting it smells divine!……AND it tastes pretty good too!……whilst there I felt it was my duty to give the Lavender shortbread a try and it was absolutely delicious. I intend to give them a go myself later this week using the recipe below.

 

MARY BERRY LAVENDER SHORTBREAD BISCUITS

Ingredients 
175g softened unsalted butter
2 tbsp fresh, unsprayed, finely chopped lavender flowers (pick them off the stems to measure)
100g caster sugar
225g plain flour
25g demerara sugar

 

How to prepare

Lightly grease three large baking trays. Put the softened butter and the lavender into a mixing bowl and beat together (this will obtain the maximum flavour from the lavender).

Beat the caster sugar into the butter and lavender and then stir in the flour, bringing the mixture together with your hands and kneading lightly until smooth.

Divide the mixture in half and roll out to form two sausage shapes 15cm (6in) long. Roll the biscuit “sausages” in the demerara sugar until evenly coated. Wrap in baking parchment or foil and chill until firm.

Pre-heat oven to 160C/Fan 140C/325F/Fan 275F/Gas 3. Cut each “sausage” into about 10 slices and put them on the prepared baking trays, allowing a little room for them to spread. Bake for 15 to 20 mins, until the biscuits are pale golden brown at the edges. Lift them off the trays with a fish slice or palette knife and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

 

I am a pretty good sleeper most nights, but last night particularly, I had the best sleep ever. I was totally relaxed from my fragrant day amongst the purple heaven!

 

To make a perfume, take some rose water and wash your hands in it, then take a lavender flower and rub it with your palms, and you will achieve the desired effect

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And relax!!!

 

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Chair Yoga

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Have you ever thought you might like to give Yoga a try but cannot get on to the floor? Well, this is the class for you!……Chair Yoga will be starting in August on Fridays at 11:15. There are many benefits and here are a few:

Benefits of Chair Yoga

Yoga has been shown to improve overall health, prevent and (even in some cases) reverse disease when practised regularly as a lifestyle. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that it can, therefore, lend its benefits to those with mobility issues. Here are some of them:

1. Improved Strength

This means that elderly people will be better able to continue with hobbies and daily activities independently for many more years to come. If they are unlucky enough to suffer a fall or injury, a strong body will be able to withstand this better and sustain fewer injuries.

2. Improved Flexibility

Chair yoga can help those with mobility issues to undertake activities that they have perhaps been unable to, such as reaching down to tie shoe laces or pick things up.

3. Improved Proprioception

Proprioception is the skill of knowing where your body is in space and coordinating your movements accurately. This is particularly important for elderly people and can prevent falls. For people with disabilities or conditions such as MS, it may mean having greater control over your body and its movements.

4. Reduced stress and improved mental clarity

Chair yoga can lessen the impact of chronic illnesses and pain. For elderly people, it may also help them cope with feelings of isolation if this is a problem. Being calmer and more relaxed inevitably leads to a greater feeling of happiness and well-being, which everyone can benefit from!

5. Opportunities to meet people and socialize

Joining chair yoga classes for those with mobility issues and the elderly will also give them a venue to socialize and make friends. However, it’s important that you choose an appropriate class so that the instructor will have specific knowledge about what is appropriate for you to do—they’ll be able to suitably adapt the exercises.

6. Improved stress and pain management

Chair yoga (and yoga in general, really) includes breath work, which can help people not only with stress management but also for coping and managing pain. Through meditation and paying attention to your breath, you can help your body and mind to cope with the pain of an illness or condition you may suffer with.

 

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The Misconceptions of Yoga

 

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The perception of Yoga to the general public can be very misleading.

This has largely been created by the media, who when they are putting together a magazine cover want classy and complicated postures by a model who looks very thin, very svelte and very flexible!…..consequently this has created an image that Yoga is basically some form of complicated exercise similar to that of a circus acrobat!…..which then makes people believe…..!

I am not FLEXIBLE enough to practice Yoga

I have to be THIN to practice Yoga

I have to be YOUNG to practice Yoga

It is too COMPLICATED

These are huge misconceptions as Yoga can be adapted to any ability, regardless of limitations.

Yoga is suitable for everyone, all levels of it are not the same of course, BUT you are still getting the mind/body coordination and the meditative component – the mindfulness and the awareness.

There are four components:

The physical postures: stretching/breathing & relaxation techniques.

Self-regulation: the ability to control our internal stress response, and to control our emotional response

The cultivation of mind/body awareness: the sense of being able to feel and experience what is going on in the body, and to experience what is going on mentally to observe the flow of thought, this can lead to increased mindfulness which can change behaviours in a very positive way.

Experiencing deeper states: even short term meditative states can be transformative and can help take you to a more positive lifestyle.

THERE IS ALWAYS SOME ASPECT OF YOGA THAT IS APPLICABLE!!

The more control we have in our minds the more power we have in our life.

When we strengthen ourselves as individuals, we take back the power over our behaviour.

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